There’s something so moving about the absolute confidence young children have in our judgment.
They trust us.
They believe to their core that we wish them well.
Over the past several days, I got to know my granddaughter, and I lived these truths. Amelie lives on the opposite coast so I haven’t seen her as much as I have my other grandkids who live nearer. In fact, it’s safe to say she didn’t know me at all.
But, we got on like a house afire.
Without a thought, she’d hold my hand. Sit on my lap. Get in my car.
She believed everything I said.
That, my friend, is a terrifying responsibility.
Unfortunately, I’m one of those who can’t see my own life while I’m in it. It’s only in hindsight that I see the light. Like a grain of sand in an oyster, my often-painful life experiences evolve, and become a pearl over time.
When my kids were small, I was still a kid myself and unable to appreciate their devotion and dependence.
I did my best, but couldn’t see the wonder.
For some reason, spending time with Amelie allowed me to fully realize what I’d had…and missed. The way she’d lie next to me on my pillow and tell me her stories, breathless, anxious to please, to get out all the words. And no matter how inane my reply, she'd soak it in, because if I said it - it meant something to her. Despite my many shortcomings, she felt I deserved her attention and affection. Just like that.
When asked by her Dad why she felt sad that we were leaving, she said without pause, "Because I love Mimi."
Isn't that the way it is with kids? Faster than the speed of sound they fall for you, and you for them.
Then, it hit me.
I am a lucky soul indeed.
Multiply Amelie times six and you’ve got my life.
I’ve got six grandkids who fill me up with all things good and true. They like to spend time with me, they make me feel clever and laugh at my jokes. They sing me songs, show me their dance moves, draw me pictures, and call me on the phone. They are funny, smart, eccentric, and they give me so much more than I could ever give them.
There’s a lot I don’t know about parenting, or grand parenting – except this:
It is an honor to be loved by a child.